Team Preview: College of the Canyons

Over the past few seasons, College of the Canyons has been one of the top JUCO programs in the country. They had 26 players sign with four year schools this past season and one would figure that they could struggle some losing all that talent and experience, but the Cougars are loaded once again and offensive coordinator Don Fellows spoke with about their top prospects this season.

"We had a really talented team last year and we lost some experience, but some of the guys we have replacing them might be even more talented," Fellows told "We also had some great freshmen come in and they will be counted on heavily this fall just because of their speed and athleticism and how they can just play ball."

Read on to find out who the Cougars' top players are for the 2009 season…

QB Eric Brown "We had a great QB last year in Brad McClellan, but Eric may be the most athletic guy we've had here to play quarterback since I got here five years ago. He's 6-5, 205 and he ran a 4.45 this spring. He's really smart, he's a good leader and he can get it done, but he won't just be handed the job because we also have a guy by the name of Justin Morales who is pretty athletic and a good signal-caller as well. Justin was a bounceback from Idaho, so he's got enough skill to play at the next level."

RB B.J. Iverson "We're going to be more of a running back by committee this year. Last year we had Fred Winborn who was outstanding for us and B.J. came in a couple of times and got a hundred yards every time he was in there. He's not big, but he can play ball and we really like what he adds to our offense.

"Then we have guys like Ryan Zirbel and Nick Hale who will both be guys who get carries in our offense. Both add different things and both are smart."

TE Mychal Rivera "He's a bounceback from Oregon, so he obviously has the skills necessary to be really successful at the next level. He'll play tight end for us and he goes about 6-4, 235 and he's real athletic and he can move for a guy his size. I don't have his speed numbers right now, but he can move and he makes plays. He's explosive."

WR C.J. Atkins "We got C.J. as a bounceback from Washington State and he's a serious athlete. He's big (6-3, 210) and he's fast (4.35). He's probably going to be the top wideout in California this year. I'd be real surprised if he wasn't with his size, speed combo and he's real hungry to be the best he can be."

WR Mark Urbina "He was All-Conference for Moorpark last fall and he'll move inside with us. He's going to be special and really help diversify our offense."

OT Louiszell Alexander "'Lou' is our top lineman. He's so gifted athletically, he's big (6-5, 315) and he's got a bit of a nasty streak. We love it that we can count on him to hold his side and not let anyone by."

OT Karim Barton "Karim will be our starter at left tackle, but it just depends on who our quarterback is. One of them is left-handed, so if that one is our QB, then Karim will stay at left tackle. If the right-hander wins or is in, then we will move ‘Lou' to the left side and put Karim at right tackle. He's big and physical and had an offer to walk-on with Washington State, but he decided to come to us instead."

DE Marquis Jackson "On defense we're loaded with talent and Marquis, who is already committed to UCLA, is our top guy and probably the top defensive end in the country. He's so athletic and really explosive off the ball. He's an exciting player and he makes things go for us up front."

DT Jake Tepper "He'll play both inside and outside for us. He's got good size and strength and I think he could see recruiting pick up with a good season."

LB Evan Harrington "He's going to play the middle for us and he's a smart and solid player. He's really physical at the point and I think he's got enough speed to play outside if necessary, but he'll be inside for us this fall."

S Joshua Gibbs "We return our whole secondary so that will really help us out this fall and Josh is the leader for us back there. He's already got an offer from Kentucky and he plays with a chip on his shoulder. He's physical for a guy his size (5-11, 200) and he's a smart, heady player."

Other Canyons players to watch: DE Jermaine Cushnie; DE Jermar Cushnie; CB Aaron Fisher; LB Khalil Bass (Fr.); LB Justin Cudworth (Fr.); LB/DE Chuck Obie (Fr.); WR Taveon Burke; OT Caylin Hauptmann (Fr.).

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